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The hair loss process can be tough for those going through it, particularly for young people who may feel alienated and ‘othered’.

In spite of these pressures, 15-year-old student Elisha Appleby has become a brand ambassador for Sunderland-based wig producer Pdollpalace after being recruited by its owner, Jolene Casey.

A line of high-quality synthetic wigs, eponymously named Elisha’s Wigs, is being released in collaboration with the company, and promoted across social media using the hashtag #IAMELISHA.

Cause of hair loss

Hairloss has been a recent phenomenon for Appleby. She spoke to her local North-East newspaper, The Chronicle, about noticing clumps of hair falling from her head around her last birthday.

It continued to shed, taking a heavy emotional toll on the teenager: “As a 15 year old girl, my hair was a priority. I was getting bullied and I locked myself in my bedroom and wouldn’t go to school”.

In a video on the newspaper’s website Appleby explains how she saw a dermatologist who diagnosed her with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder which causes sudden, patchy hair loss to the scalp.

Medics who assessed her condition believe it was caused by stress as she also experiences severe nose bleeds: Alopecia Areata can be triggered by long-term, chronic psychological stress.

Judging by her pictures, Appleby still appears to have her eyebrow hair and eyelashes, which suggests she may have the scalp-only form of the condition rather than its two more extreme phenotypes – Alopecia Totalis and Universalis. These cause baldness of the entire head, and from head-to-toe, respectively. Though, of course, Elisha may be wearing false lashes and micro-pigmentation eyebrow tattoos.

As a means of coping with her hair loss, the schoolgirl shaved her head and posted the results on Facebook to raise alopecia awareness. She received a lot of support, particularly from Jolene Casey who messaged her afterwards asking her to become a Pdollpalace brand ambassador.

The teenager has been recruiting women with medical hair loss to model her range of wigs and has been inundated with volunteers. She told The Chronicle beforehand, “They can be any age, size, anyone who has suffered hair loss through alopecia, cancer, chemotherapy or hair loss after pregnancy”.

IAMELISHA pdollpalace elishas wigs collection alopecia areata“We want to do a photoshoot, we can all model the Elisha Wigs which will go on the Pdollpalace website… They’ll get a makeover and we will have fun and model all sorts of colours and styles. We want to give the girls the confidence they need. We want people to know bald is beautiful”.

Wigs for children and young people

Unfortunately scalp-only Alopecia Areata treatment is unavailable for those under the age of 16: additionally there are currently no safe and effective treatments for Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, though options are in development.

Despite this, Appleby demonstrates that wigs are an excellent source of confidence for young people experiencing hair loss.

In the UK, Little Princess Trust offers free real-hair wigs to girls and young women up to 24 years of age who have medical hair loss, usually from autoimmune alopecia or as a result of cancer treatment. Celebrity endorsements include One Direction star Harry Styles and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who have both donated their hair to the charity.

The charity’s male division, Hero by LPT was set up in 2017 to offer the same service to young men and boys, also up to 24 years of age. The 2017-18 Premier League champions Manchester City are proud supporters and recently auctioned a signed Sergio Aguero kit to raise money for the charity.

Not everyone who loses their hair wants to wear a wig though, and for those who simply want support in dealing with their condition, hair loss charities such as Alopecia UK can prove invaluable. As Appleby reiterates, “Bald is beautiful and I want everyone to know it”.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


Dee Armstrong, a much-loved veteran news anchor for the American WLTZ TV station was arrested following a dispute with her son.

After the incident a bald mugshot of the TV personality without her wig went viral on Facebook, revealing her hair loss to a wider audience.

‘Hey Dee, you’re not alone’

Armstrong returned to work nearly a week after the initial event. As reported on the Ledger-Enquirer website, she jokingly commented, “I was eventually going to [talk about losing hair], but they made sure I’m gonna talk about it now”.

The reporter’s hair loss condition is not named, but is described in the article as “hair- thinning and Alopecia“.

When used as a standalone term ‘alopecia’ is a general descriptor for hair loss of any kind, including Androgenetic Alopecia – also known as Female Pattern Hair Loss – Traction Alopecia and Cicatricial Alopecia. As such, it is unclear which specific condition she is experiencing. However, the fact she is now bald, specifically references ‘Alopecia’ and mentioned in the article that she shaved her head, suggests she may have a form of Alopecia Areata.

Judging by her mugshot, it appears Armstrong has not lost her eyebrow hair nor her eyelashes. Given the more severe Alopecia Areata phenotypes, Alopecia Totalis and Universalis, both involve baldness of the whole head – including facial hair – this indicates it is more likely she may have the scalp-only form of Alopecia Areata, though a proper consultation would be required to provide an accurate diagnosis.

The autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata in this suspected form presents as sudden, patchy hair loss which, when it extends to large areas of the scalp, can be accompanied by thinning hair between the rounded bald spots. This may account for her initial description. There are Alopecia Areata treatment options available for this strain of autoimmune hairloss, which may have been what the popular community figure was exploring when it was reported that she had been speaking to a hair expert in Atlanta about her issues.

Regardless of what had caused her baldness, Dee Armstrong was shocked to see the response of others: “I have had so many women telling me, ‘Hey Dee, you’re not alone” – and she certainly isn’t. A 2017 report conducted by a US-based think tank – the Perception Institute – revealed black women experience higher levels of anxiety about their hair than white women, though women of all races and hair types are increasingly raising concerns regarding increased hair loss.

Women’s hair loss

“One of the hardest things to ever happen to me was to have them post that picture of me… And I wanted to do it on my own terms, you know… when I talk about it I wanted to talk about it the way I wanted to talk about it. But I wasn’t given that option,” says Armstrong.

As she demonstrates, women’s hair loss can be a tricky conversation to have, a topic which is less spoken about than men’s and still has a perceived stigma attached to it which people are gradually working to eradicate. Armstrong did note that she received a lot of help from her local community after the incident: “people were so doggone sweet to me”.

Often becoming informed about a hair loss condition can help to make the process a little easier to manage. Similarly an online or in-clinic consultation with a Belgravia specialist provides a professional diagnosis, advice and personalised treatment recommendations.

A tailored hair loss treatment plan can then be recommended, which typically combines clinically-proven medications and complementary hair growth supporting products, such as the highly-targeted Hair Vitalics for Women food supplement.

Staff ensure clients feel comfortable throughout their course by offering on-going monitoring and support, which has helped many women feel more confident, as documented in the many reviews in Belgravia’s Success Stories gallery. This Belgravia client explained, “I am very pleased with the result. The staff are very friendly and encouraging. I am glad I came. I will recommend it very strongly”.

Armstrong’s experience and her public discussions will hopefully inspire more women to feel comfortable in both talking openly about losing their hair, and seeking help if needed.



circ - The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - For Men and Women

The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


A series of children’s sci-fi adventure books – The Lucy Wilson Mysteries – celebrate diversity among young people, touching upon topics which range from race to hair loss.

The story’s protagonist, Lucy Wilson, is a girl of mixed-race heritage and the granddaughter of Doctor Who brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. She is accompanied by her intelligent side-kick Hobo who experiences a form of Alopecia Areata.

The first story, Avatars of the Intelligence, was released in March 2018.

alopecia author‘Not defined by their condition’

In 1981 Sue Hampton, the author of the series, was diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis, an autoimmune disorder which is characterised as head-to-toe hairloss.

Her first story – The Waterhouse Girl – was inspired by her own experiences with the condition.

Talking to DoctorWhoNews.net, the author emphasises how writing helped her feel more comfortable about herself: “Writing The Waterhouse Girl changed my life, and changed the way I saw my alopecia. I began to feel braver, because my character was dealing with alopecia better than I was”.

She hopes The Lucy Wilson Mysteries series can help to normalise the experiences of children who may feel ‘different’:

“Since then [the release of The Waterhouse Girl] I’ve wanted to write stories where the characters are not defined by their condition, because that’s not what defines me. In Avatars of the Intelligence, Hobo does have alopecia, yes, but he is also loyal, brave and intelligent – all the qualities that Lucy needs in a friend”.

Hampton’s point – that children with hair loss should not be limited by their condition – is reinforced by the amount of positive and successful public figures who have Alopecia Areata. These include former Team GB cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand and England rugby star Heather Fisher.

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair lossDealing with alopecia

Unfortunately treatment for Alopecia Areata on the scalp-only phenotype cannot be used by those younger than 16 years old. There are no treatments for Alopecia Totalis or Universalis which have proven to be both safe and effective, regardless of age.

The lack of options available to treat the condition, combined with the potential of bullying at school, can often leave children with hair loss stressed and isolated, a scenario explored in Hampton’s series.

As a result there are charities set up to cater specifically to children and young people experiencing hair loss. In the UK Little Princess Trust and Hero by LPT provide real-hair wigs for girls and boys experiencing medical forms of hairloss, including alopecia areata and cancer-related baldness, up to 24 years of age.

Hampton is a passionate ambassador for Alopecia UK: through her work with the charity she visits schools across the UK offering education and support.

In addition to this the charity gets involved in campaigning and fundraising efforts. Hampton previously raised over £750 by completing four hours of sponsored expressive dance. Rowsell Shand won £3,000 for the organisation on Celebrity Mastermind.

Many other peer support groups have been created, such as Molly’s Roots which was set up on Facebook by the mother of Molly Milligan, an 11-year-old with Alopecia Areata.

The work carried out by these charities, forums and figures try to make sure children with hair loss are given every opportunity to live with confidence and security. As demonstrated by Hampton’s characters, and by the author herself, losing hair needn’t be a barrier to a happy and successful life.


The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Eunice

Question: Does alopecia give you headaches? Am losing my hair and I do get headaches frequently – have just had an MRI scan but it came back normal – any help?

Answer: Hi, Eunice. We are unsure of the specific type of hair loss you are referring to when you say ‘alopecia’, however, there are only two forms which we are aware of being related to headaches: Traction Alopecia and autoimmune-related alopecia.

tension headache womens hair loss traction alopecia dreadlocks braids hairstyles

Traction Alopecia is a hairloss condition which occurs when frequent, excessive strain is placed on the follicles. This is often the result of wearing tight hairstyles – such as braids, high ponytails or hair extensions – which is where the link to headaches comes in. However, the pain is not caused by the hair fall or the condition itself, they are due to the tension brought about by the damaging hairstyle. If Traction Alopecia is suspected, the first step is to stop styling the hair in any potentially harmful way and wear it naturally in order to let the follicles recover.

If the hair loss, which often presents around the frontal hairline and temple areas and sometimes significant hair breakage is seen at the site(s) where the style has been fixed, is substantial then Traction Alopecia treatment may be beneficial. Although this condition is fully preventable, in severe cases it can also cause permanent baldness.

The other issue which can cause both hair loss and headaches is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which is related to inflammation in the body. If you are losing your hair to SLE, which is also known as Lupus and thought to be autoimmune in nature, or another form of autoimmune disorder – such as Alopecia Areata  it is worth talking to your GP about this as people with one autoimmune disorder have an increased risk of developing others.

You may find the 2014 medical research paper investigating links between headaches and autoimmune diseases of interest. Whilst no concrete evidence has yet been established, the possible propensity towards migraine in people with autoimmune disorders is also being explored by researchers.

There are no other hair loss conditions that have any substantive correlation with headaches as far as we are aware; they all tend to be physically painless.

If you are experiencing thinning hair from all over the scalp this may be an indication of an underlying health issue. Telogen Effluvium causes temporary shedding that may seem sudden and intense but is generally triggered around three months prior to hair fall becoming noticeable. Common provocateurs of this condition include illnesses – which may or may not have been diagnosed – or starting a new regime, be it medications or significant dietary changes.

Another common cause of Telogen Effluvium is stress and it may well be the case that worrying about your headaches, or the stress placed on the body by an unrelated illness, that is behind your hair loss.

This issue may resolve itself naturally within around six months, though should the condition become chronic, it often takes longer. If this diffuse thinning becomes a concern then it may be worth considering exploring telogen effluvium treatment to help accelerate the process.

We would encourage you to visit a hair loss specialist who, following a thorough assessment, can diagnose why you are losing your hair, what options you have to combat this, and may also be able to shed light on the cause of your headaches.


circ - The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - For Men and WomenThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Shay

Question: Do you believe in natural hair loss treatments for alopecia areata such as detox tea drinks? Many manufacturers claim I should try them but I have not seen any scientific basis for this.

Answer: Hi, Shay. As far as we are aware there is absolutely no reliable clinical trial data or scientific proof that detox tea can treat any form of hair loss. We would be interested to hear which brands are making these claims, which ingredients they are in relation to and what clinical evidence there is for them.

There are a number of vitamins, minerals, botanical extracts and amino acids known to support normal healthy hair growth – including selenium, biotin and zinc as per Belgravia’s premium Hair Vitalics food supplements – but these are nutritional products, not hair loss treatments. Whilst these types of ingredients, when taken in the recommended amounts, may benefit the condition of existing hair, we are unaware of any ‘natural remedies’ which have sufficiently compelling trial-based evidence to warrant them being called ‘hair loss treatments’, especially when it comes to autoimmune alopecia.

Tea Detox tea for hair loss help nutrition drinks health hair growthThere are currently no MHRA licensed or FDA-approved treatments for alopecia areata in any of its various phenotypes. However, there is only one clinically-proven, topical treatment for genetic hair loss in both men and women and it is widely understood by professionals to have possible applications outside this scope. Belgravia’s hair loss experts have used it to significant effect in many clients with the scalp-only form of Alopecia Areata, examples of which can be seen in the dedicated Alopecia Areata Success Stories gallery.

This solution is available to medically-suitable people who are 16 years of age and over, and is generally used as part of a custom treatment course personalised to the needs of each individual with additional hair growth boosters where appropriate.

Alopecia Areata in this mild to moderate form when it only affects the scalp can often clear up of its own accord, usually within a year. Its more severe phenotypes – Alopecia Totalis and Universalis – cause the whole head to become hairless, and baldness from head to toe, respectively. These versions currently have no truly effective treatment options and if or when hair regrowth may resume is impossible to predict.

Commonly touted ‘natural hairloss remedies’ tend to involve drinking certain teas – for instance, green tea – or applying certain foodstuffs directly to the scalp – onions and turmeric being two of the most frequently asked about on the Belgravia blog. Whilst these suggested ‘magic cures’ are unlikely to be remotely effective at regrowing hair, they are often harmless, though this is not always the case so caution is always recommended.

It is obviously beneficial to follow a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle as good nutrition can contribute to the normal functioning of various bodily systems, including the hair growth cycle. Sadly though, this does not mean that certain foods or drinks will cure hair loss – it simply means the hair you have should look and feel healthier. If you are looking to regrow hair lost to a medical hair loss condition such as alopecia areata, then we are certain that having a professional consultation with a specialist is a better place to start than detox tea.


Circ The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Treatment for Alopecia AreataThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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The UK’s leading hair loss charity for people with the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata is campaigning for those affected to receive one free real-hair wig per year on the NHS in England.

Alopecia Areata is both an umbrella term for a group of conditions which cause varying extremes of baldness, and the name of the most mild form of the disorder which causes patchy hair loss to the scalp only. In its most severe iterations it can cause the whole body from head to toe to become hairless, including the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.

It can affect men, women and children of any age and race, and frequently has negative mental health effects, not least due to the sudden nature of the conditions’ onset.

Alopecia UK is the leading British charity for people affected by all forms of this disorder. It works tirelessly to promote alopecia awareness and to offer support to those affected, including the family and friends of people with autoimmune hair loss.

WigStandardisation of wig provision across England

According to the BBC, NHS England currently has ‘no nationally set limit’ for how many wigs are provided to patients experiencing hairloss. Each local NHS board currently decides for itself how wig provision should be allocated.

Alopecia UK is campaigning for this to be standardised across England with the remit being for each person affected to be given one free real-hair wig each, per year.

Alopecia UK is now bigger than ever, having merged with AAR-UK in 2017, and is throwing its weight behind this call to action on behalf of all those affected across the country. The British Association of Dermatologists has also backed the sentiments of this leading hair loss charity.

Jen Chambers, development manager at Alopecia UK – who herself has experienced various forms of alopecia – told the BBC: “Some people literally will not leave their house without hair on their head. So if we want people with alopecia to contribute to society then there should be help there for all those who need it.”

Chambers used to receive real hair wigs from the NHS until funding was cut. “I remember when they told me,” she says, “I just couldn’t hold it together and I burst into tears.”

So much more than a ‘cosmetic issue’

The BBC also reports that the charity sent freedom of information requests to the 209 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England in 2015, enquiring about wig provision in their area, noting ‘Of the 169 that got back to them – six said they don’t offer wigs because they view alopecia as a “cosmetic issue”.’

This is far from being the case for many people with autoimmune alopecia, as the psychological effects can be extensive. Hair is – for many – inextricably linked to their identity and sense of self. So, when this is taken away, it can trigger emotional turmoil to the extent that psychological issues develop, such as anxiety and depression.

Alopecia Areata treatment is possible in cases of the scalp-only phenotypes – Alopecia Areata and Alopecia Ophiasis. However, the most severe cases – Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – do not have any treatment options available yet, though researchers are working hard to develop some and are reportedly making strong headway in this area.

In the meantime, however, those left bald by the condition need support – not just from specialist hair loss charities – but, according to Alopecia UK, from the NHS as well.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


Irish mum, Anne Harkin, has set up a popular blog – adopting the online moniker Ms. Amazebald – where she discusses her heartfelt experiences with both depression and hair loss, the latter of which she has lived with for the best part of 20 years.

anne alopecia depression bloggerHarkin’s hair loss

When Harkin was 17, a hairdresser spotted a bald patch on the side of her head and more continued to appear. When the patches began to merge into each other, and when the hair did not grow back, she “freaked out”.

Following a consultation with a dermatologist, she discovered that she had the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata, which manifests as rapidly-forming, patches of hairloss on the scalp only.

She continued to shed hair even as she was approaching her wedding day, a situation also faced by London-based Keremi Gawade.

Recalling this moment in the Derry Journal, she noted, “As the patches grew into each other, I refused to shave it off. But, I didn’t want to go up the aisle a half-bald bride. So, I travelled to Belfast, got a wig and that evening I shaved my head”.

Harkin later developed Alopecia Universalis, a more severe form of Alopecia Areata which causes complete head and bodily hair loss as well: “It’s strange, but I don’t remember the rest of it falling out and I don’t remember my eyebrows falling out”.

Living with Alopecia

For Anne and others like her, living with hair loss has its tough moments, particularly considering her separate battles with mental health.

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair lossWhen discussing her depression, Harkin urged people with the same condition to “Exercise, practise self care and take medication if you need it”.

These pieces of advice can also apply when approaching hair loss. Exercising regularly – without over-doing it – helps to minimise stress, a suspected trigger of various conditions which cause thinning hair.  Whilst its cause is currently unknown, triggers for all forms of Alopecia Areata are believed to include sudden shock or trauma, allergies and even perhaps genetic elements.

Self-care is also immensely important: wigs have been a “massive benefit” to the blogger’s self-esteem and offer those experiencing hair loss more control over their image. In 2015, Vogue Magazine published an article which explored how nine women who have lost their hair experimented with hats, wigs, and scarves, proving that women can look incredibly stylish with or without hair.

However, Harkin has begun to embrace her baldness more openly. Speaking about her decision, the Irish blogger noted, “If I’m out and about I don’t like going without my wig, as sometimes I do feel naked without it. It does take time to adjust… I’m not as brave as some people – but I am getting there”.

Fellow Alopecia blogger Ruth McPherson went ‘wig-free’ for a week to raise money for Autoimmune Alopecia Research UK, a charity which has since merged with Alopecia UK.

Understandably, embracing hair loss remains an incredibly difficult process for some people. For those with the scalp-only form of Alopecia Areata, treatment options do exist for those aged 16 years+, and can be hugely beneficial for some. Its two more extreme phenotypes – Alopecia Totalis and Universalis – however, currently have no effective treatment options.

Harkin proves that there are many ways of dealing with her condition though, and she has evidently emerged from these experiences as a stronger and more confident woman. Furthermore, many charities, including the aforementioned Alopecia UK, can help people to deal with the effects of hair loss, ensuring those affected – as well as their friends and relatives, where appropriate – receive any support they might need.


Circ - Minoxidil iconThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Luke

Question: Are there any solutions for treating a bald spot caused by Male Pattern Baldness? I have gone completely bald on the side and have a bald spot caused by it too. I want to know what I can do to treat it

Answer: Hi, Luke. We are unsure as to how you know the cause of your hair loss and would query this as what you describe does not sound like Male Pattern Baldness. Your query is similar to another we received recently, the answer to which you may find helpful.

Firstly, it is highly unusual that a 16 year old would have such severe Male Pattern Hair Loss that it would cause actual baldness. Secondly, you mention that one side has ‘gone completely bald’ – this is also inconsistent with a diagnosis of genetic hair loss.

We recommend having a professional consultation with a specialist who can determine the precise hair loss condition you are experiencing as it sounds more likely, based solely on what you say here, that you may be experiencing something called Alopecia Areata.

Male Pattern Baldness causes gradually thinning hair and affects the area along the top of the head from the hairline to the crown, though it does not necessarily the whole area at once. For instance, it is possible to have a receding hairline or just a thinning crown without the whole of the vertex being affected. Baldness – the most advanced stage of hairloss, where the head takes on a smooth, shiny appearance and hair is no longer capable of growing – generally takes many years to develop. As hereditary balding can only start to affect genetically-predisposed men once they have been through puberty, it is unlikely that, at 16 years of age, you would have bald areas already.

Alopecia Areata, on the other hand, does cause bald patches which can appear anywhere on the scalp. There can be one or many; they can be as small as a £1 coin or far larger and may join up to form larger areas. This is an autoimmune disorder which can present in men, women and children of any age. Although it comes on suddenly and leaves smooth, bald spots behind, in many cases hair regrowth will resume spontaneously within 12 months. Alopecia Areata treatment may also be used to help accelerate this process.

Once the cause has been established, hairloss solutions can be explored based upon the condition, level and pattern of shedding, as well as your medical suitability. Hair loss treatment courses for male pattern baldness and alopecia areata are available for approved patients from 16 years of age and, as you can see from Belgravia’s Success Stories gallery, these can be highly effective (though we never guarantee results given everyone responds differently).


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


Related Stories


Kylie Bamberger, a Los Angeles-based woman with severe hair loss, discussed her eye-opening story in an episode of the Facebook video series ’60 Second Docs’ entitled ‘I Have Alopecia’.

In the inspiring clip, she describes both her childhood and adult experiences with Alopecia Areata and how she continues to raise awareness of the autoimmune disorder.

The video has been a big hit, with over one million views and 10,000 reactions. The comments section is full of people sharing their own personal battles with hair loss, no doubt encouraged by Bamberger’s brave account.

Kylie Bamberger

She started to lose her scalp hair at the age of 12, and three years later the rest of it fell out – this suggests that her Alopecia Areata progressed to the more extreme form of Alopecia Universalis, which causes hairloss from head to toe. Continues below…

I Have Alopecia

Beauty in hair loss.

Posted by 60 Second Docs Presents on Friday, 2 March 2018

 

She describes the issues she faces on a daily basis due to her lack of hair: “People mistake me to be a man. I’m commonly thought of as being sick. I get a lot of sympathy from all the wrong places”. 

However, she has channelled these experiences into the empowerment of others. She entered the public spotlight in 2017 after participating in Health magazine and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s joint #WhatIModel social media campaign. Her video, which discussed inner beauty and self-acceptance, was one of the most popular entries.

She also tries to be a role model for children with autoimmune alopecia:“When I was a kid, I didn’t have anyone that I could talk to or relate to. There was no one that I could look up to that said, ‘yes’ they’ve been through the same thing. Now I’m able to provide that to kids who are struggling with the same disease. That is the most gratifying experience of my life”.

Other public figures who experience forms of Alopecia Areata include the retired British Olympic cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand and Gotham actor Anthony Carrigan, who made his own alopecia acceptance video.

Dealing with Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is characterised by sudden, patchy hair loss of the scalp, whilst its two more severe phenotypes, Alopecia Totalis and the aforementioned Alopecia Universalis, present as total baldness of the head and a rejection of all body hair respectively.

Diagram Belgravia Centre Different Types of Alopecia Areata autoimmune hair lossThe precise cause is unknown, but alopecia has several suspected ‘triggers’, which include psychological and long-term chronic stress, sudden extreme shock and physical trauma. The hair may regrow naturally – within a year in fifty per cent of scalp-only cases – but when or if this will happen is impossible to predict.

While no cures for any forms of the autoimmune disorder currently exist, Alopecia Areata treatment is available to medically-suitable people aged 16 and over with the scalp-only form. At Belgravia, this typically involves using appropriate formulations of high-strength minoxidil, which are generally paired with complementary non-pharmaceutical hair growth boosters.

Alopecia Totalis and Universalis currently have no truly effective treatment options regardless of age, but researchers are continuing to explore the efficacy of JAK inhibitor drugs – such as tofacitinib and ruxolitinib – in relation to treating all forms of Alopecia Areata.

In the meantime, there are numerous hair loss charities, support groups and communities dedicated to offering support and advice to those dealing with Alopecia Totalis and Universalis.

Despite some deciding to fully embrace baldness, Bamberger being a notable example, wigs can also be a source of great comfort for those who enjoy the sense of control a head of hair can offer. In cases where children are affected, charities such as Little Princess Trust and Hero by LPT in the UK, and Locks of Love in the US and Canada, can provide real-hair wigs free of charge.

Whatever the choice, the main thing is that those with the disorder feel comfortable in their own skin – as Bamberger reiterates, “femininity is not defined by the way that we look, it’s defined by the way that we feel”.


Circ - The Belgravia Centre Treatment for Hair LossThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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HairlossANSWERS - Click to Submit Your Query to Our Hair Loss Experts

Name: Samit

Question: Hey I am 17 years old. I have got a bald spot, it’s male pattern baldness – how can I treat it? My one side has completely gone bald, are there any solutions for this?

Answer: Hi, Samit. The pattern of hair loss which you describe is inconsistent with a diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness.

A bald spot and hair loss that affects one side of the head only suggests it is more likely to be the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata.

Male Pattern Baldness causes thinning hair and/or a receding hairline gradually, over time. It is a permanent condition but can take many years to develop to where points in the affected areas – the top of the scalp from hairline to crown – could be described as ‘bald’. Whilst not impossible, given male pattern hairloss can begin in genetically-predisposed individuals any time following puberty, it would certainly be somewhat unusual for a 17 year old to have developed such advanced baldness already. This, along with the location and shape of the hair loss, as you have described them, suggest that it is more likely to be autoimmune in nature. Continues below…

Alopecia areata causes temporary hair loss in many cases, with the scalp-only form often lasting no longer than 12 months, and hair regrowth starting naturally of its own accord. It happens when the body effectively turns on its own hair follicles. The reason for this autoimmune disorder is unknown though a number of triggers, including sudden shock, trauma, intense long-lasting stress, and allergies, are all suspected. When it kicks in, the hair growth cycle is disrupted, causing it to pause in the Telogen phase – the resting state – causing sudden hair fall in rounded patches from anywhere on the scalp.

This can cause hair fall as small as a coin, in one singular bald spot, or far larger patches all over the scalp which may join up – it may also come and go then recur again. In more extreme cases of autoimmune alopecia, this can affect the entire head, including eyebrows and eyelashes, or cause the entire body from head to toe to become hairless.

Given the need to be certain as to the cause of hair loss before treating it, we recommend having a professional consultation. Once a specialist has assessed you, they will be able to determine the precise hair loss condition you are experiencing and recommend a personalised course of treatment accordingly. There are effective, clinically-proven Male Pattern Hair Loss Treatment options available should this prove to be the case, whilst Alopecia Areata treatment is also possible if your shedding does turn out to be caused by this.

Either way, there are certainly a range of hair loss solutions that you can explore, but – as before – the most important thing to do as your first step is to ensure you have a confirmed, professional diagnosis of your condition so you know exactly what is causing the bald spot before you start treating it.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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